Iraqi Sunni fighters battle ISIS on the outskirts of Iraq’s Beiji oil refinery, about 200 kilometers north of Baghdad. AFP PHOTO / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE
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Iraq's leadership has been indignant after U.S. accusations that its forces lack the will to fight but assessments of the army's ability suggest the rank-and-file have reasons to shy from battle.Ahmad al-Fadhily wanted to fight ISIS when it captured swaths of Iraq last year and imposed a reign of terror. But to do so, he quit the army and joined a Shiite militia.The Popular Mobilization force is an umbrella for many Iran-backed Shiite militias and volunteers which is only nominally under the prime minister's control.That means some fighters in the security forces have not been paid for months while some corrupt top officers get rich, policemen and soldiers say.In Ramadi, some forces suddenly found themselves surrounded by ISIS as panicked units pulled out without alerting others, some fighters told AFP.Fadhily recalled the lack of trust he had for his officers when he was in the army.
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